They are mentioned in a book published by the National Park Service
titled "Brickyard Towns: A History of Refractories Industry Communities in South-Central
"Scottish immigrant James Glover is credited with initiating the local(Bolivar, Westmoreland Co.) firebrick business. He reportedly worked in the Mt. Savage, MD, clay mines before discovering the deposits at Bolivar in 1842. Township tax assessors recorded a brickyard in Fairfield Township in 1846 when Baxter, Glover, Harley and Company were taxed for 250 acres, one sawmill, four horses, and one "fire brick factory". Five years later the partnership was reformulated as Glover and Kier and Company. Samuel M. Kier was a western Pennsylvania entrepreneur who later began a brickworks in Salina. In 1851 he and Glover were operating two "brickworks" at Bolivar and by 1856 had built 14 tenant houses for their employees."
Thereafter the companies went through periods of consolidation, restructuring, demise and constantly changing partnerships so it is difficult to track ownerships. In 1876 there were four brickyards at Bolivar. An 1876 Atlas map identifies three of them (none known as Glover and Kier). Kier did continue in Salina PA and apparently many of the "company buildings" both residences and businesses still survive!
Additionally, Larry had written: ... The Conemaugh River banks contained the right kind of clay for bricks and they capitalized on it creating the industry and employing our ancestors. And then the owners took back their wages in rents and groceries and other necessities they willingly provided the workers. It seems some of the companies survived well into modern times and perhaps some still exist today. Interesting...
I (Larry) have requested some copies of photos of some of the original Bolivar buildings from the Library of Congress. It seems there was a survey done called Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) to document some significant buildings and industries from the past. Bolivar and Salina and the works started by Glover and Kier are included. I'll let you know what I turn up. (written 1.26.99)